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Internet Gov Weekly Brief (W32A20): US to ban Tik Tok and Wechat; US “Clean Network plan”; APEC on cybersecurity standards; African Union Audit Tracking System; Google’s Fitbit acquisition; Australia Cybersecurity Strategy; Digital platform regulation

Internet Gov Weekly Brief (W32A20): US to ban Tik Tok and Wechat; US “Clean Network plan”; APEC on cybersecurity standards; African Union Audit Tracking System; Google’s Fitbit acquisition; Australia Cybersecurity Strategy; Digital platform regulation


Donald Trump issued executive orders that would ban TikTok and WeChat from operating in the U.S in 45 days if they are not sold by their Chinese-owned parent companies.

The US ambassador in Brasilia warned of “consequences” if Brazil chooses Chinese telecoms company Huawei to develop its 5G network outlining that China fails to protect intellectual property.


In Canada, The Office of the Privacy Commissioner issued its report of findings following its investigation into a complaint of TD Canada Trusts’ decision to outsource the processing of fraud claims to a third-party service provider.

In France, the CNIL imposed a sanction of 250,000 euros against the company Spartoo, accused of keeping too long the personal information of its customers and of not ensuring the security of their banking data. Also, CNIL adopted three referentials for the health sector including a non-binding standard on the processing of personal data by medical and paramedical clinics.

In Brazil, the Chamber of Deputies published the opinion of Federal Deputy, Damião Feliciano, on Provisional Measure No. 959 of 29 April 2020

In Spain, the data protection authority announced an updated version of its guide on the use of cookies to adapt it to the European Data Protection Board’s (‘EDPB’) Guidelines 05/2020 on Consent under Regulation 2016/679 .


The U.N. counterterrorism chief stated that a 350% increase in phishing websites targeting hospitals and health care systems  COVID-19 pandemic was reported in the first quarter of the year.

An Interpol assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on cybercrime has shown a significant target shift from individuals and small businesses to major corporations, governments and critical infrastructure.


In the USA, Secretary of state Mike Pompeo has announced a “Clean Network plan” which will offers a comprehensive approach to guarding citizens’ privacy and companies’ most sensitive information from aggressive intrusions by malign actors.

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network  issued an advisory to alert financial institutions of cybercrime and cyber-enabled crime connected to the COVID-19 pandemic.

NIST has released two draft NISTIRs for the National Cybersecurity Online Informative References (OLIR) Program: Draft (2nd) NISTIR 8278 and Draft NISTIR 8278A. The comment period for each publication closes September 4, 2020.

The National Security Agency and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency recently issued an Alert (AA20-205A) urging all Department of Defense (DoD), National Security Systems (NSS), Defense Industrial Base (DIB), and U.S. critical infrastructure facilities to take immediate action to secure their operational technology assets.

In Europe, the Council  decided to impose restrictive measures against six individuals and three entities responsible for various cyber-attacks. The sanctions imposed include a travel ban and an asset freeze.

In Asia, The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation published standards and process-based approach to enhance cybersecurity.

The Australian Government has released its Cybersecurity Strategy 2020 outlining Australia’s approach to keeping individuals, critical infrastructure providers, and businesses secure online. Also, the Cyber Security Centre and the Digital Transformation Agency have released new guidelines to enable the adoption of secure cloud services across the public and private sector.

Three people were charged for their alleged involvement in a massive Twitter hack earlier this month that took over the accounts of prominent users like Joe Biden, Barack Obama and Elon Musk and used them to promote a bitcoin scam.


The European Commission’s digital chief has said that worldwide jurisdictions and particularly the EU and the US should formulate “common visions” on how best to regulate competition in the platform economy. The Organisation also opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of Fitbit by Google under the EU Merger Regulation. It also launched a public consultation on Regulation No. 910/2014 of 23 July 2014 on Electronic Identification and Trust Services for Electronic Transactions.

Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry and Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment had signed the Singapore-Australia Digital Economy Agreement aiming to enable trusted cross-border data flows.


In India, TRAI releases Recommendations on ‘Provision of Cellular Backhaul Connectivity via Satellite Through VSAT Under Commercial VSAT CUG Service Authorization’.


The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre published a report on artificial intelligence and digital transformation in the context of COVID-19.

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office published a report outlining the proposed structure and areas of focus of the ICO’s new auditing framework for artificial intelligence.

Insurance Europe published an insight briefing on the European insurance industry’s views on artificial intelligence outlining three challenges in maximising the benefit for both consumers and themselves in their use of AI.


In order to avoid an upsurge in Covid-19 infections,  the African Union (AU) Open Corridor Initiative is supporting a collaboration among pan-African private sector institutions to launch a Consortium to deploy and manage a digital platform that will perform bio-screening and tracing of contacts across borders.


The African Union has launched its Audit Recommendations Tracking System (ARTS) digital platform which aims to fast-track implementation of all audit recommendations, enhance the overall effectiveness and efficiency of management planning.


The United Nations Human Rights Office announced a call for contributions examining the privacy rights of children and how this right interacts with the interests of other actors.


Facebook and Twitter removed a video posted by President Trump that the companies claim violated their rules against harmful misinformation about the coronavirus.

In an open letter published, the top legal officers of California, New York, the District of Columbia, and more than a dozen other states called on Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg to better police its platform.

YouTube announced that it had banned 2596 accounts emanating from China, some of which had been engaging in “coordinated influence operations,”

TikTok announced new rules for its users to fight misinformation and manipulation ahead of the 2020 election.


​​​​​​A new report from ITU and the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) intitled Women, ICT and Emergency Telecommunications: Opportunities and Constraints highlights that equal access to information and communication technology (ICT) can save lives in emergencies, including during pandemics.


The US National Security Agency has released an advisory on the risks associated with the geolocation data many systems and apps routinely collect.


The Quebec Commission on Access to Information published a guide on Biometrics as well as an update of its declaration for a bank of biometric characteristics or measurements. 

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